Committed to Caring: Professor Brent Ryan

Submitted by Ezra Glenn on Thu, 08/14/2014 - 10:10am

Congratulations to DUSP Professor Brent Ryan, who was recently awarded a "Committed to Caring” honor from the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education.  The program recognizes MIT faculty members who "go above and beyond to make an impact in the lives of graduate students." Two new faculty members are recognized each month through a broad campus poster and web campaign.  Honorees are determined by a selection committee made up of MIT graduate students and staff.

In granting the award, the office noted,

Expanding transportation planning capacity in cities of the global south: Public-private collaboration and conflict in Chile and Mexico

Submitted by Phil Sunde on Fri, 08/01/2014 - 10:17am

In his dissertation, Onesimo Flores Dewey studied how the governments of cities limited by scarce fiscal resources and weak institutions enhance their transportation planning and regulatory capacities to provide the public with cleaner, safer, efficient, and reliable public transit alternatives. Such aims are particularly challenging for cities of the developing world, in part because a quasi-informal network of privately owned transport operators has been historically responsible for satisfying the public’s mobility needs with minimal state intervention.

Dynamics of Vehicle Ownership in Singapore

Submitted by Phil Sunde on Tue, 07/29/2014 - 10:19am

Yunke Xiang (MCP ’14) focused on how cities are trying a range of transportation policy and investment alternatives to reduce car-induced externalities. He explored why, without a solid understanding of how people behave within the constraints from transportation policies, it is hard to tell which of these policies are really doing the job and which may be inducing unintended problems. The focus of this paper is the determinants of vehicle ownership in the motorized city-state context of Singapore.

Too Legit to Quit: Exploring Concepts of Legitimacy and Power in Scaling-Up Community Development Work

Submitted by Phil Sunde on Mon, 07/28/2014 - 1:51pm

Lillian K. Steponaitis (MCP ’14) examined community-based organizations, in which success is based not only on the services they offer, but also their more intangible networks of trust, robust local relationships, and on-the-ground knowledge of community needs.  As local organizations grow and seek to replicate themselves, the question of local trust and participation, the very basis of their legitimacy, is sometimes challenged.

Mega-Project Politics: The Evolution of Lahore’s First BRT Corridor

Submitted by Phil Sunde on Mon, 07/28/2014 - 11:35am

In her thesis Fizzah Sajjad (MCP '14) asks how opportunities emerge for states in the Global South to undertake large-scale spending on public transport, particularly in cases where they have previously withdrawn from its provision. In recent years, such opportunities have emerged in the form of mass transit mega-projects, particularly Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) mega-projects.

Culture, Cooperation, and Planning for Development in Maputo, Mozambique

Submitted by Phil Sunde on Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:37pm

Laura Andreae Martin (MCP '14) focuses on cooperation projects rooted in cultural ties which are receiving unprecedented attention from the international development community. When and how culture practically matters to development has not been thoroughly explored within urban planning. Her thesis examines whether, when, and how cultural affinities matter for the successful design, management, and implementation of urban planning projects in the global South with international partnerships.

RhodeMap RI Economic Development Priorities

Submitted by Karl Seidman on Tue, 07/22/2014 - 11:46am

Students in 11.438 Economic Development Planning  developed components of Rhode Island's new state economic development plan prepared as part of a HUD Sustainable Communities Plan.  The plan includes: (1)   recommendations to improve the use of state property tax inceentives; (2) plan to improve and scale entrepreneurial development services for minority, low-income and low-income enterpreneurs; and (3) a state initiative to diversify the state's ship and boat-building industry.